Elliott Cole Update: 25th July Dextro Energy Hyde Park Triathlon

Olympic fever swept across the humble surroundings of Hyde Park on the weekend of 24th & 25th July when the Dextro Energy ITU Triathlon rolled in to town with over 2,000 world class athletes descending on London for Round 5 of the 2010 Dextro Energy ITU Triathlon World Championships.

As this race uses virtually the same course as will be used during the 2012 London Olympic Games this is the race everyone wants to win.

Having never raced at an ITU event before I was massively excited on the build up to the race as these events really are a sight to be seen and I even went along on Saturday to sign on and watch the Ladies Elite race in the afternoon.

The weather in the morning of the race was very overcast and heavy rain on Saturday evening made for tricky conditions from the start.

The gun went off at 7.30am on Sunday to let my wave of Age Group athletes into the murky waters of the Serpentine.

With a straightforward out and back 1 lap swim the start was as expected, a lot of jostling for position and arms and elbows everywhere as all athletes tried to find clear space on the way up to the first turn around buoy.

I found space to the far left of the serpentine with the inside line approaching the first turn around buoys. I stayed on the toes of the swimmer in front and we hung on to the back of the lead pack right the way down the back straight towards the second turn. Apart from 2 very impressive swimmers from Portugal who exited the water around 5 minutes clear of anybody else, the main pack came in together and I exited the water in 00:28:48 and headed for T1.

A long 500M+ run lay ahead as we exited the water and headed alongside the Serpentine and into Transition, I whipped off my wetsuit, secured my helmet and headed out on to the slippery bike course in a T1 time of 00:03:12, a lot longer than a usual time for transition but only as a result of the long runs from swim to bike.

The bike course at Hyde Park was something I’d been looking forward to most, with closed roads and taking in all of Hyde Park it was a fantastically well organised course. Unfortunately this excitement was short lived as fast corners on the course which had been rained on heavily overnight hadn’t been brushed and puddles were making even the most experienced of riders hit the tarmac hard as they pushed too hard round the slippery bends.

Unfortunately I was no different and as I headed back on the first of the 5 laps I leant the bike a little too far over on the corner taking you back towards the turnaround loop and found a lack of grip which sent me skidding into a hay bale. I quickly jumped back onto the bike and with just a small cut on my leg I headed back on my way. Unfortunately a bent groupset meant that the gears weren’t selecting properly for the rest of the bike course and eventually started changing up and down the cogs on their own which made getting any kind of rhythm extremely difficult. Seeing some of the people walking back to transition covered in road rash from where they’d come off of their bikes and couldn’t continue made me realise that the situation with my gearing was not going to stop me and I powered through the rest of the bike course and headed into T2 in a time of 01:05:51, a long way down on what I’d hoped for but given the conditions it could have been a lot worse.

After another long run through Transition 2, I quickly racked the bike, put on my trainers, grabbed my gels and headed out onto the first of the 4 lap 10km run course.

The run course at Hyde Park was fantastic, 4 x 2.5km laps of the serpentine finishing off with a run through the Elite field transition (somewhere every Triathlete aspires to have their bike racked one day) before you headed onto your next lap.

I quickly found my stride and had finished the first lap before I knew it; the temperature by this time had started to rise so I knew I had to keep my fluids up throughout the course to make sure I finished strong.

Spurred on by the support of my partner and family which I passed at the same point each lap I was eating up the miles against other competitors and finished the 10km run course in a time of 00:39:09 and a race finishing time of 02:18:40 and 11th in my Age Group, slightly down on my 10km PB but really pleased given the difficulty I had on the bike.

I was slightly disappointed not to get a top 10 finish in my Age Group for the first time this year but having a crash and a mechanical on the bike course I couldn’t be too hard on myself and my times are still tumbling down and I know I have a lot more to give.

All in all it was a fantastic day and has given me more fire in my belly to train hard over the coming weeks on the build up to London and head in to the last few races of the year strong before putting some seriously structured hours in over the winter to come back in 2011, win my Age Group races and qualify for the Great Britain Age Group team.

Next Race – Sunday 8th August – London Triathlon

About the Author

Hi, I'm Tom Burkinshaw, I co-produce the Maximise Your Potential Podcast and Website and my goal is to help as many people as possible be successful in life, careers and business, by offering free coaching and mentoring through a series of unique interviews from inspiring people who all display exceptional self-belief, mental toughness and desire to achieve. Thank you for taking the time to visit Maximise Your Potential!